Technician details how carbon monoxide could have seeped into car in KCK where two died

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Loved ones are grieving two accidental deaths in a vehicle in Kansas City, Kansas from over the weekend.

Police say 26-year-old Carolyn Williams-Cottier of KCK, and 30-year-old Trevor Roth of Dodge City, Kan., died of carbon monoxide poisoning as they sat in a car in a Walmart parking lot.

Police haven`t said anything about the condition of the car, but a loved one tells FOX 4 a detective believes there was a problem with the 16-year-old car`s exhaust system. Those trained in vehicle exhaust systems say the two had no way of knowing what was happening.

There is heartache as those loved ones make arrangements to say their final goodbyes to Williams-Cottier and Roth. The pair sat in a white SUV Sunday morning, unaware of a silent killer inside with them. Police blame the colorless, odorless gas carbon monoxide for their deaths.

"I`m sorry for their misfortune. It`s sad," said Gordon Polen, with KC Complete Auto in Liberty.

Polen spoke with FOX 4 about how carbon monoxide ends up getting into the cabin of a car. He says a faulty exhaust system can at times be to blame.

"Any time there`s a spot where we have to take two pieces and bolt them together, that`s the spot most likely for exhaust gasses to get out," explained Polen.

It`s something that could be detected during a safety inspection for registration renewal in states like Missouri that require it. As it turns out, a leak in the exhaust system isn`t all that could lead to carbon monoxide filling your car.

“Exhaust comes out the back, gets into the trunk, filters into the cabin where you`re at and it may take a couple of hours or even longer before you start getting carbon monoxide in the cabin of a car,” said Polen.

He says simply sitting idle in your car while it`s running puts you at risk.

“While you`re driving it you have all kinds of things, you know, air conditioners, defrosters moving air through the car. Sitting still, there`s no air flow,” said Polen.

That`s why he recommends you avoid sitting in your car while it`s running, but says if you must, roll the windows down. The vehicle police towed from the scene did have at least one of the windows partially down.

Carolyn Williams-Cottier leaves behind 2-kids. A GoFundMe page has been set up for her funeral arrangements.

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